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Interpol supports death penalty for tweets
February 12, 2012 11:55 AM   Subscribe

Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari was arrested in Kuala Lumpur and deported to Saudi Arabia for at the behest of Interpol. Mr. Kashgari faces the death penalty in Saudi Arabia for a series of tweets insulting the prophet Muhammad, including 'I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don't understand about you I will not pray for you.' (BBC, Al Jazeera)

Fair Trials International's Jago Russell said "Interpol should be playing no part in Saudi Arabia's pursuit of Hamza Kashgari, however unwise his comments on Twitter. .. If an Interpol red notice is the reason for his arrest and detention it would be a serious abuse of this powerful international body that is supposed to respect basic human rights, including to peaceful free speech, and to be barred from any involvement in religious or political cases."

Fair Trials International has a campaign against the blanket enforcement of Interpol red notices because the international police agency has a poor record of respecting freedom of speech cases (pdf).
posted by jeffburdges (59 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
What were the other two tweets? Does anyone know? No one seems willing to publish them (gee, maybe because they're afraid they'll get killed by a bunch of theocrats...)
posted by vorfeed at 12:05 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw someone mention this on G+ the other day. I have no idea why he chose to flee to Malaysia. Wouldn't it have been better to go for somewhere like Denmark or the Netherlands or something something where the public would never allow the guy to be deported? this post is making it sound like this is just being done as a favor to Saudi Arabia, as there's no extradition treaty between the two countries and his lawyer actually got an injunction. I obviously don't know how accurate the G+ post is, though.

I certainly found this... weird.
More than 13,000 people joined a Facebook page titled "The Saudi People Demand the Execution of Hamza Kashgari".
Kind of grim humor here, but isn't this a violation of facebook's terms of service? Or are calls for violence OK if you're just calling on the government to use violence? Also, people are always going on about the potential for stuff like facebook to democratize the middle east, here we see the downsides of that, as facebook organizes a 'democratic' lynch mob.
posted by delmoi at 12:13 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


  • On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you've always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you.

  • On your birthday, I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more.

  • On your birthday, I shall not bow to you. I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more.


  • I think this is completely contemptible behavior by the Malaysians and the Saudis.
    posted by empath at 12:13 PM on February 12, 2012 [26 favorites]


    I've found this via a google image search for "Hamza Kashgari tweets", hosted by the site theblaze.com. If you then search theblaze.com for "Hamza Kashgari" you find two articles which both have English transations :

    Feb. 10th : Saudi blogger with ‘blasphemous' tweets who fled for safty now arrested

    Feb. 9th : Saudi blogger's tweets about Muhammad has some calling for his execution
    posted by jeffburdges at 12:15 PM on February 12, 2012


    Interpol really fucked up there.
    posted by dunkadunc at 12:19 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


    Ok, so how does this Interpol red notice thingie actually work? What's the approval process? If there's no central authority, and any state can issue a red notice, then it's more like two Islamic nations cooperating to justify an extradition where no extradition treaty exists.
    posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:22 PM on February 12, 2012


    Wikipedia of all places seems on the ball here.

    Wouldn't it have been better to go for somewhere like Denmark or the Netherlands or something something where the public would never allow the guy to be deported?

    Stop over on his way to New Zealand, it appears
    posted by IndigoJones at 12:23 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Saudi capital punishment entails beheading with a sword.
    posted by knoyers at 12:28 PM on February 12, 2012


    delmoi, he was headed to Australia to ask for asylum.
    posted by narcoleptic at 12:31 PM on February 12, 2012


    This is completely fucking insane.
    posted by brennen at 12:33 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


    For all the US bluster about human rights in Iraq, Iran, Cuba, and Afghanistan, you'd think they'd care about human rights in Saudi Arabia.

    The US never really gave a shit about human rights, of course.
    posted by dunkadunc at 12:35 PM on February 12, 2012 [20 favorites]


    For what it's worth, here's part of the Interpol constitution, via Wikipedia:

    It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.
    posted by Tomorrowful at 12:43 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


    I'm reminded of Interpol's role in Assange's case.
    posted by fredludd at 12:47 PM on February 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


    For all the US bluster about human rights in Iraq, Iran, Cuba, and Afghanistan, you'd think they'd care about human rights in Saudi Arabia.

    The countries directly involved in this are Malaysia and Saudi Arabia; Interpol is an international organization headquartered in France. He was on his way to New Zealand to seek asylum. None of those countries are the United States. Why, exactly, is the US being singled out here for your complaints?
    posted by Tomorrowful at 12:48 PM on February 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


    They should eject Saudi Arabia from Interpol.
    posted by empath at 12:54 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


    Interpol supports death penalty for tweets

    Do we really need this tabloid style inflammatory bullshit for a post title?
    "If an Interpol red notice is the reason for his arrest and detention it would be a serious abuse of this powerful international body that is supposed to respect basic human rights (including to peaceful free speech) and to be barred from any involvement in religious or political cases."
    If. IF.

    There is no behest of Interpol. There is an unsubstantiated accusation from a third party.

    This is how bad journalism is allowed to triumph. We're better than this.
    posted by Talez at 12:56 PM on February 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


    Because I live in the US, because the US is a self-styled champion of human rights, and because as a major trading partner with Saudi Arabia it has the opportunity to put the squeeze on them (to its own economic detriment) if it really cares about how people in Saudi Arabia are treated. That's why.
    posted by dunkadunc at 12:57 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


    There isn't anything unique about his case, that fairtrials.net pdf lists various people, list various people on whom Interpol rubber stamped red notices by repressive regimes.

    There are among these several Iranian dissidents who fled to the U.S., who gave them asylum and promised not to extradite them, but who cannot travel outside the U.S. due to Interpol supporting their red notice from Iran.

    Interpol offers some process for contesting red notices, but clearly this doesn't work, especially when one nation tries scoring political points. We should probably demand that Interpol steps up it's this process to a review waiting period which covers anyone accused of speech crimes, anyone accused of capital crimes, and any country with a poor human rights record.
    posted by jeffburdges at 12:59 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


    It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

    It's all very well to say that Interpol shouldn't have acceded to this request, but criminal activity can often consist of speech alone, and it's surprisingly hard to distinguish between ones that are reasonably prohibited and ones that must be tolerated. You say that Interpol shouldn't help the Saudis arrest blasphemers; they'll say "what about Thailand with its laws against lese-majesty?". You say that lese-majesty shouldn't be a crime; Thailand will say "What about the countries with laws against sedition?" You'll say that making political statements shouldn't be a crime; those countries will point out that the USA assassinated Anwar al-Awlaki for preaching militant Islam. If you criticise that, the US will say that every country needs to defend its own existence. And then Saudi Arabia will say that Islam is a fundamental pillar of their country, and blasphemy is an attack against it. It's very hard to draw a line that makes sense here.
    posted by Joe in Australia at 1:00 PM on February 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


    but criminal activity can often consist of speech alone

    Only in a world where authoritarians are in charge. Speech alone is almost never a crime.
    posted by Malor at 1:11 PM on February 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


    It's very hard to draw a line that makes sense here.

    I don't think so. Sedition, lese-majesty, and blasphemy are all censorious laws which deserve zero respect from a free-speech standpoint; they exist solely to punish the expression of ideas the government doesn't like. The idea that some of them are "reasonably prohibited" because (some) political speech is "an attack" against which countries are entitled to "defend" is nothing more than sophistry on the part of those same governments... which spend much of their time "attacking" the "fundamental pillars" of other nations, anyway.
    posted by vorfeed at 1:11 PM on February 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


    It's very hard to draw a line that makes sense here.

    No it's not; they can all be wrong.
    posted by dazed_one at 1:13 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


    and blasphemy are all censorious laws which deserve zero respect from a free-speech standpoint
    yeah, no.
    posted by b1tr0t at 1:14 PM on February 12, 2012


    Interpol, as the UN, is only as powerful, sound and ethical as its member states and - actually, that pretty much explains this mess.

    They bloody well know if they turned down this red notice case "simply" because an individual might be harmed or even killed by the government making the request, they would have to do it so frequently that it would defeat the purpose of their organization, which is to facilitate collaboration between member states' criminal police authorities, not to protect people or enforce human rights.

    Sure they have a shitty constitution but what independent body enforces it, the Court of Audit of France??

    The blame should be on Malaysia for granting the request in the first place; they could have ignored it just like other countries have done. Unless, of course, they have a security policy cooperation with Saudi Arabia.
    posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:14 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


    Saudi Arabia is also killing Shiite protestors in Awwamiya. The protestors were asking for the release of two elderly men who were being held because they would not give up their sons who are accused of organizing protests last year.

    Saudi Arabia has a long history of torture, repression, detention without trial, beheadings, amputations, and public floggings. You can read about them here.
    posted by deanklear at 1:14 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


    I'm pretty sure I can't openly talk about plans to assassinate someone -- I mean, honestly, death threats are kind of chilling.
    posted by Shit Parade at 1:15 PM on February 12, 2012


    and blasphemy are all censorious laws which deserve zero respect from a free-speech standpoint

    yeah, no.


    Are you saying that blasphemy is not solely the domain of censorious asshats, or what? Not sure I understand your comment.
    posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:15 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


    Are you saying that blasphemy is not solely the domain of censorious asshats, or what? Not sure I understand your comment.
    My bad - I read the original sentence with the inverse of its intended meaning.

    That is, I read it as "protection of blasphemy deserves no free speech protection".

    I'm going to drink some more coffee now, and await my beheading.
    posted by b1tr0t at 1:20 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


    More than 13,000 people joined a Facebook page titled "The Saudi People Demand the Execution of Hamza Kashgari".

    Sounds like Internet-Era 'Freedom of Speech' to me. (As well as the ultimate utilization of Facebook)
    posted by oneswellfoop at 1:24 PM on February 12, 2012


    delmoi, he was headed to Australia to ask for asylum.
    So Malaysia would have been a safer bet then
    posted by mattoxic at 1:24 PM on February 12, 2012


    To be fair to Interpol, if Interpol didn't exist, they'd have just made a couple of phone calls to Malaysia instead, with the same end result.
    posted by empath at 1:25 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


    You say that lese-majesty shouldn't be a crime; Thailand will say "What about the countries with laws against sedition?" You'll say that making political statements shouldn't be a crime; those countries will point out that the USA assassinated Anwar al-Awlaki for preaching militant Islam.
    And Russia assassinated Alexander Litvinenko for badmouthing putin. That has nothing to do with Interpol.

    Sedition and laws against lese-majesty do not fall under Interpol's purview anyway, because they are not allowed (supposedly) to engage in political arrests, for which those would qualify.
    delmoi, he was headed to Australia to ask for asylum.
    Well, that seems extraordinarily unlucky. Had he stopped in, say India would this have been a problem?
    posted by delmoi at 1:34 PM on February 12, 2012


    All you need is some oil in the ground underneath you and you too can do whatever you want. In fact, certain other will go out of their way to help you. It's pretty fucking great.

    For some people.
    posted by tommasz at 1:37 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Well, that seems extraordinarily unlucky. Had he stopped in, say India would this have been a problem?

    Certainly India wouldn't have handed him over, even if there are Indian domestic elements that might take offence.

    However, Malaysia issues visas on arrival to Saudi nationals and India does not. (Neither does Australia, which I presume is why he was in Malaysia - waiting for an Australian visa).
    posted by atrazine at 1:39 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


    There aren't many speech crimes in the first place by anybody sane's standards, perhaps holocaust denial, but almost nothing else. And critically no speech crime ever requires immediate enforcement.

    It follows that a waiting period for red notices for speech related crimes is appropriate. And such waiting periods should apply to all red notices by issued countries that previously abused the system.

    We aren't talking about drug kingpins or dictators on the run here, at worst we're talking bigoted blowhards. In fact, there aren't afaik any cases of people fleeing countries over any reasonable restraints on speech, maybe some exist, but I've never encountered one.

    You never hear about some skin head being deported back to Germany for holocaust denial, for example. Instead, they proudly face the music in their homeland because their homeland doesn't fucking bead people for speech crimes. And this purely hypothetical red notice for holocaust denial still prevents future travel whenever it eventually passes some review procedure.
    posted by jeffburdges at 1:40 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


    It's all very well to say that Interpol shouldn't have acceded to this request, but criminal activity can often consist of speech alone, and it's surprisingly hard to distinguish between ones that are reasonably prohibited and ones that must be tolerated. You say that Interpol shouldn't help the Saudis arrest blasphemers; they'll say "what about Thailand with its laws against lese-majesty?". You say that lese-majesty shouldn't be a crime; Thailand will say "What about the countries with laws against sedition?" You'll say that making political statements shouldn't be a crime; those countries will point out that the USA assassinated Anwar al-Awlaki for preaching militant Islam. If you criticise that, the US will say that every country needs to defend its own existence. And then Saudi Arabia will say that Islam is a fundamental pillar of their country, and blasphemy is an attack against it. It's very hard to draw a line that makes sense here.

    No, it's simple. Every one of those laws is unjust, because they exist to protect the powerful, and not for enforcing Law that protects individuals from the theft of their life, liberty, or property. (Al-Awlaki should have been arrested and tried and jailed for the rest of his life instead of being assassinated, if our legal system is supposed to continue to mean anything.) It doesn't matter if they're protecting the facade of religious respect, or fealty to monarchy, or submission to an unjust government. They're all equally evil.

    We should be calling for Interpol to protect citizens from repressive states, but since we're using them and other governments for our own extrajudicial murders, torture sessions, and punishment of perceived enemies, we're unable to say anything meaningful without rightfully being laughed at.

    I can't believe how far our culture has come from "Give me liberty or give me death" to excusing extrajudicial state execution and torture to punish those who piss off the powerful. King George would be right at home in modern America. Hell, he'd probably be President.
    posted by deanklear at 1:50 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


    those countries will point out that the USA assassinated Anwar al-Awlaki for preaching militant Islam. If you criticise that, the US will say that every country needs to defend its own existence.
    Sure, somebody could "point out" that, but it wouldn't make it so. There's a difference between preaching and actually planning and otherwise aiding in or recruiting for specific attacks. Now, maybe al-Awlaki didn't actually do any of the latter, and it was just a lie to cover up killing him for his preaching, but what he was accused of doing was distinct from just preaching.
    posted by planet at 1:50 PM on February 12, 2012


    Is the "on your birthday" structure an allusion to something else? It sounds very poetic but I can't place it.
    posted by feloniousmonk at 1:56 PM on February 12, 2012


    The "campaign against blanket enforcement of Interpol red notices" link seems key here:

    Interpol is operating above the law, falling through the cracks in between domestic and international regulation. Inaccurate red notices cannot be challenged in court and Interpol cannot be held accountable for decisions that violate basic rights or break its own rules.

    Fair Trials International wants Interpol to be made accountable. We are calling for effective mechanisms to prevent Interpol’s abuse by state persecutors and to allow people to challenge the red notices against them with transparency and due process.


    The Benny Wenda case might be instructive:

    Benny Wenda is a West Papuan tribal leader who leads an international campaign for the independence of West Papua from Indonesia. Due to his activities he was persecuted by the Indonesian government, subjected to torture and a politically-motivated prosecution. He escaped to the UK and was given asylum in 2002. Benny is now a British citizen and lives with his wife and six children in Oxford.

    In 2011, Benny discovered that Interpol had listed a “red notice” against him following a request from the Indonesian police. This red notice authorizes Benny’s provisional arrest with a view to extradition to face prosecution on the same politically-motivated charges that caused him to flee from West Papua. If Benny leaves the UK he could therefore be arrested and extradited to Indonesia. Despite being the leader in exile of his people, Benny is now unable to travel to meet with international campaign supporters or with other West Papuan exiles. Indonesia has used the red notice to continue its persecution from afar.

    Benny’s case demonstrates how Interpol (an international organisation of national police forces) is being abused by oppressive and undemocratic regimes to pursue political opponents. FTI is calling for the red notice against Benny to be removed and for broader reform of Interpol to make this powerful international body accountable and prevent its abuse.


    I really, really hope Interpol wasn't involved here.
    posted by mediareport at 2:04 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


    There is no behest of Interpol. There is an unsubstantiated accusation from a third party.

    Well, it's a quote attributed to an unnamed Kuala Lampur police source. Easy enough for Interpol to deny if untrue, right?

    Contacted at its headquarters in Lyon, France, the organisation did not immediately reply to requests for comment on the Kashgari case.

    Surely, Talez, the least we can expect here is clarification from Interpol about whether they were involved or not?
    posted by mediareport at 2:07 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Anwar al-Awlaki is a red herring. The US didn't request Interpol's assistance to kill him, it was a straightforward (if controversial) assassination by a state. Had the US requested a "red notice" or other assistance through Interpol solely on the basis of al-Awlaki's religious views, Interpol would have been completely correct to refuse to have anything to do with it.

    If the Saudis really want to get Kashgari, they should have to do so on their own, without the air of legitimacy that an Interpol notice might be mistaken to grant. And they should face the same level of international criticism that the US (and other countries that have carried out assassinations, e.g. Israel) has received — if not more, in proportion to international perception of Saudi law.
    posted by Kadin2048 at 2:07 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Surely, Talez, the least we can expect here is clarification from Interpol about whether they were involved or not?

    And I'm sure they eventually will in one way or another. And if it's true Interpol are a bunch of dicks. But how about we stick to known facts in FPPs rather than hearsay and conjecture.
    posted by Talez at 2:14 PM on February 12, 2012


    It's probably also worth highlighting the Interpol defense of the red notice system at the end of the Guardian article:

    In response to past criticisms of the red notice system, it has said: "There are safeguards in place. The subject of a red notice can challenge it through an independent body, the commission for the control of Interpol's files (CCF)."

    Fair Trials International's response from its Interpol FAQ (pdf) notes "the supervisory body has several serious problems," including:

    1. CCIF decisions (to remove a red notice, for example) can be overturned by a vote by the General Secretariat. Decisions over data disclosure are subject to review by the requesting member.

    2. CCIF only examines notices when requested, and not on its own initiative. This means that the person has already been arrested or even extradited by the time CCIF investigates the case. Therefore, reviews can only prevent future arrests, and cannot remedy unlawful arrests when they are already in progress.

    posted by mediareport at 2:19 PM on February 12, 2012


    "Sedition, lese-majesty, and blasphemy are all censorious laws which deserve zero respect from a free-speech standpoint"

    People who are peaceful protesters against a government are often accused of sedition. That's an abuse of the word sedition, as incorrect and unjust an application of the concept as charging Kashgari with aggravated assault for hurting Mohammed with his words. Real sedition is encouraging people to join a criminal conspiracy.

    In the spring of 1936, Mola joined a group of army officers led by José Sanjurjo who desired to oust the Popular Front government...Mola sent secret instructions to the various military units to be involved in the uprising. After several delays, July 18, 1936 was chosen as the date of the coup.

    That's sedition.

    It's not censorship to jail a Mafia Don for making someone an offer he can't refuse, even if he never picks up a gun himself. It's not censorship to jail a General for sending word to his Colonels that July 18 is the day.

    (participation in a coup d'etat is a political crime and as such something Interpol should not be involved with. Interpol should not be tracking down violent democratic anti-dictatorial rebels it has no standing to judge which government in a civil war is legitimate)
    posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:25 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Talez, I agree that it would have been better if the post had made it clear that the Guardian article calls the claim of Interpol involvement an "accusation," yes, and I look forward to hearing directly from Interpol about any involvement. But given the history described at Fair Trials International, it seems more than possible Interpol was involved.
    posted by mediareport at 2:25 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


    And again, that's conjecture.

    Say I asked if you were molesting children. You of course answer "I'm not going to dignify that with a response you moron" because you wouldn't even entertain the thought.

    By the standards set I could then post an FPP saying with an unsubstantiated accusation that mediareport diddles children and when asked they refused to comment.

    Welcome to how this kind of poor quality bullshit is a Bad Thing™. But continue on this descent into shit punditry by all means.
    posted by Talez at 2:51 PM on February 12, 2012


    Wow, I just realized how young this guy is. He's 23, max.
    posted by reductiondesign at 3:10 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Real sedition is encouraging people to join a criminal conspiracy. [...] It's not censorship to jail a Mafia Don for making someone an offer he can't refuse, even if he never picks up a gun himself. It's not censorship to jail a General for sending word to his Colonels that July 18 is the day.

    Military personnel (at least in this country) swear an oath not to betray their country, and are subject to military law when they break that oath. Citizens, not so much. I have very little respect for attempts to charge civilians for "sedition", unless they've actually gotten an army together and are marching on the capitol... and even then, they could probably be charged with several serious crimes which involve more than just talking.

    No government is more important than the right of its own people to oppose it and even rebel against it, if need be.
    posted by vorfeed at 3:17 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


    There isn't at present any reason to believe the Saudi's knew his whereabouts without the Interpol red notice, Talez, perhaps they searched airline records, but an Interpol red notice is the Occam's razor answer, that's just how it works.

    We must therefore assume, lacking any evidence to the contrary, that Interpol rubber stamped a red notice for Hamza Kashgari because rubber stamping bullshit is often what Interpol does, i.e. all the conjecture here is on your part.

    Also 1 : Interpol hasn't refuted the red notice accusation, just offered bullshit platitudes about their dispute process, which obviously cannot apply here since the Malaysians rapidly smuggled him back before his lawyers even met the judge.

    Also 2 : There wasn't afaik any reason for the police in Kuala Lumpur to lie about the red notice either, probably they'd simply yammer about international cooperation. It's certainly possible a Malaysian politician/bureaucrat lied to subordinate police officers about the red notice after being bribed by the Saudis.

    We've witnessed how Marianne Ny and Claes Borgström prosecuted Assange's case upon American request, for example. Any such scenarios remain pure conjecture though.

    As an aside, I'd consider the "accountability for Interpol" goals laid out by Fair Trials International as progress, mediareport, but insufficient for this case. Interpol should be required to vet red notices that potentially violate their charter or that originate with countries likely to lie on the red notice, presumably including Saudi Arabia.
    posted by jeffburdges at 5:12 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


    As I see it, the real question is who the hell let a repressive theocratic regime that practices public beheadings into a multilateral policing agreement in the first place. Bit of a deal with the devil, that.
    posted by biochemicle at 5:17 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


    "I'm not going to dignify that with a response you moron" because you wouldn't even entertain the thought.

    But Interpol has in the past done exactly the sort of thing they're being accused of here. That would be the difference between the current case and your tacky example.
    posted by mediareport at 5:24 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Well for what it's worth it looks the Guardian story has been updated with a denial from Interpol:
    Interpol later denied that its notice system had been involved in
    the arrest of Kashgari. A spokesperson said: "The assertion that Saudi
    Arabia used Interpol's system in this case is wholly misleading and
    erroneous."
    posted by strangely stunted trees at 5:31 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Interesting, assuming that remains true, the next question becomes : How did they find him? Did he fly a Saudi Arabian airline? Or did another airline tell them? An airline reporting his location isn't quite the same problem as Interpol of course.

    In any case, I still feel the most interesting part about this whole affair was Fair Trials International's broader criticism of Interpol. It's insane that Interpol prevents dissidents from countries like Iran from traveling even once they gain asylum and citizenship elsewhere.
    posted by jeffburdges at 5:56 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


    Writer Hamza Kashgari Handed Over to Saudis for ‘Blasphemous’ Tweets

    "As he tried to board a morning flight to New Zealand, Kashgari was detained by Malaysian authorities. A friend of Kashgari’s, who asked to remain anonymous, was at the airport with Kashgari and witnessed his arrest. 'We were just watching him, waiting for him to pass the immigration checkpoint. Once he submitted his passport, they asked him to step away for a few minutes,' the friend said, noticeably shaken by the incident. 'And suddenly these two people without uniforms just arrested him.'"
    posted by homunculus at 6:06 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


    It's insane that Interpol prevents dissidents from countries like Iran from traveling even once they gain asylum and citizenship elsewhere.

    Yes, exactly.
    posted by mediareport at 9:42 PM on February 12, 2012


    If anyone's still reading this, there's a distinct possibility that Malaysian immigration acted above and beyond what was required of them, possibly to the point of being in contempt of court.
    posted by the cydonian at 7:25 PM on February 14, 2012


    Yeah, I thought it was strange how everyone lost interest in this case so quickly.
    posted by dunkadunc at 10:51 PM on February 14, 2012


    Anyone know if Malaysia has laws against civil servants acting on behalf of foreign powers outside treaty obligations? There is some such law in Sweden but they often violate them when the U.S. and/or MafiAA wants people like Peter Sunde or Julian Assange arrested.
    posted by jeffburdges at 3:40 AM on February 15, 2012




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